St Patrick's School (Bryndwr)

St Patrick's School (Bryndwr) - 19/10/2018

School Context

St Patrick’s School (Bryndwr) is a Years 1 to 8 integrated Catholic school which provides education for 171 students. 

The school’s vision is based on the Mercy Sister values which promote the attitudes, skills and knowledge needed for children to become confident, motivated, self-directed, lifelong learners. 

The school’s expectations of valued outcomes include for students to: 

  • be confident in their identity, language and culture as citizens of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • be socially and emotionally competent, resilient and optimistic about the future
  • be successful lifelong learners
  • participate and contribute confidently in a range of contexts - culturally, locally, nationally. 

The school’s strategic focus for 2017 and 2018 includes monitoring and evaluating of progress and is linked to the following areas: 

  • stewardship
  • leadership of conditions for equity and excellence
  • educationally powerful connections and relationships
  • responsive curriculum, effective teaching and opportunity to learn
  • professional capability
  • collective capacity, evaluation, inquiry and knowledge building for improvement and innovation. 

Leaders and teachers regularly report to the board schoolwide information about outcomes for students in the following areas: 

  • achievement in reading, writing and mathematics
  • Catholic special character. 

Since the previous ERO review, a new leadership team has been established and there has been ongoing roll growth. The school has also been through a time of significant change, including managing the re-building of four classrooms, and the strategic alignment of key aspects of the school’s operations. 

St Patrick’s School (Bryndwr) is part of the Waimairi-iri Kāhui Ako | Community of Learning (CoL).

Evaluation Findings

1 Equity and excellence – achievement of valued outcomes for students

1.1 How well is the school achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for all its students?

The school is making good progress towards achieving equitable and excellent outcomes for its students.

Achievement information shows that there have been consistent patterns of achievement over time. Almost all children achieve at or above expectations for reading. Most students achieve at or above expectations for mathematics and writing.

The school places a strong emphasis on supporting positive social and emotional outcomes for all students.  

1.2 How well is the school accelerating learning for those Māori and other students who need this?

The school is making good progress with supporting the students whose learning needs to be accelerated. Since the last review, individual learning plans have been extended and improved. A learning support intervention framework has been introduced that progressively identifies strategies, specific support and monitoring systems for identified students. The achievement of most Māori students continues to be at or above the school’s expectations for effective progress over time.

These approaches and related evaluations are building a useful foundation for the school’s next step, which is to continue to build capability in the acceleration of student learning across the school.

2 School conditions for equity and excellence – processes and practices

2.1 What school processes and practices are effective in enabling achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

The school is continuing to strengthen knowledge and build capability regarding the achievement of equity and excellence for all students.

The special character of the school is reflected in its vision and values. Biculturalism and multiculturalism are visible throughout the school’s practices, and are well-aligned with the special character of the school. The school community values and supports difference and diversity.

Students participate in a caring and collaborative learning environment. Individual students are known as learners and have strong relationships with teachers. Student feedback on learning and wellbeing is sought and valued. Tuakana teina is evident across the school and there are many leadership opportunities for senior students. A range of strategies and resources is used to support students with additional learning needs.

Teachers work collaboratively to develop a shared understanding of teaching and learning. They have good learning relationships with students. Teachers work as a team to focus on and support students with learning and wellbeing needs. They are reflective of their practice and responsive to feedback about ways to improve their teaching. 

School leaders have developed a strong focus on building alignment, consistency and transparency across school systems and processes. They clearly promote professional learning and development opportunities that are aligned to the strategic plan. Leadership is relational, effectively builds capability and provides opportunities for distributed leadership throughout the school. There is clear and responsive communication between school leadership, the board, staff and parents. Parents are welcomed and involved in the life of the school as respected and valued partners in students’ learning.

Since the last ERO review, the board has engaged the support of an external advisor to further improve governance systems and structures. Improved reporting to the board now includes increased student and staff voice. This is promoting deeper discussions among trustees and is enabling them to make more informed decisions. The board is supportive of leaders, students and the parent community. Self reflection is embedded in board practices, and trustees are actively focused on improving learning outcomes for students.

2.2 What further developments are needed in school processes and practices for achievement of equity and excellence, and acceleration of learning?

School leaders and teachers have identified that ongoing work on the curriculum is a priority. This includes promoting opportunities for students to set learning goals to support self-management and self-directed learning, as stated in the school’s vision. 

School data needs to be further analysed and used to:

  • inform internal evaluation
  • identify groups of priority learners
  • report to the board acceleration, sufficiency of progress and achievement trends over time. 

The school’s internal evaluation process is providing better information for decisions around teaching strategies and interventions. The school’s next steps are to ensure that the impact of these strategies and interventions are understood and reported to the board. 

3 Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board and principal of the school completed the ERO board assurance statement and self-audit checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to the following:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • finance
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student safety and wellbeing:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration and certification
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand down, suspension, expulsion and exclusion of students
  • attendance
  • school policies in relation to meeting the requirements of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014. 

Provision for international students

St Patrick’s School (Bryndwr) is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students (the Code) and has attested that it is compliant. At the time of this ERO review, there was one international student currently enrolled, and no exchange students. Good systems are in place for supporting the educational and wellbeing needs of the international student.

4 Going forward

Key strengths of the school

For sustained improvement and future learner success, the school can draw on existing strengths in:

  • leaders and teachers who promote a caring, positive culture for learning, which builds a strong sense of belonging
  • outcomes for children that show consistently good levels of achievement for most groups of learners in the school
  • the ongoing promotion of parents as valued partners in children’s learning. 

Next steps

For sustained improvement and future learner success, priorities for further development are in:

  • completion of an aligned curriculum
  • further analysis of data, and completion of the school’s internal evaluation framework
  • strengthening current strategic planning processes. 

ERO’s next external evaluation process and timing

ERO is likely to carry out the next external evaluation in three years.

Alan Wynyard
Director Review & Improvement Services Southern

19 October 2018

About the school 



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Years 1-8 State Integrated Catholic school

School roll


Gender composition

Boys 48% : Girls 52%

Ethnic composition

Māori            5%
Pākehā       79%
Pacific           1%
Asian           15%

Students with Ongoing Resourcing Funding (ORS)


Provision of Māori medium education


Review team on site

August 2018

Date of this report

19 October 2018

Most recent ERO reports

September 2013
March 2010

St Patrick's School (Bryndwr) - 05/09/2013

1 Context

What are the important features of this school that have an impact on student learning?

St Patrick’s School (Bryndwr) is a full primary (Years 1 to 8) Catholic school in Christchurch. The special character of the school reflects the Catholic faith, and the values, beliefs and wishes of the community.

There is a strong focus on positive, respectful and learning-focused relationships between students, staff, parents and the parish. High expectations and a positive tone in the school support the learning of all students.

The Parent Family Association takes a leading role in raising funds to support the broad range of learning opportunities for students within and outside the school. It also contributes to the provision of strong pastoral care for families requiring extra support.

The board has made very good progress in addressing the recommendations in the 2010 ERO report. This is now a planned focus on extending leadership and refining systems to support and improve the quality of learning and teaching. Regular and effective communication helps families and parishioners maintain close links with the school.

The board has rigorous systems in place to provide a safe place for students, staff and parents.

2 Learning

How well does this school use achievement information to make positive changes to learners’ engagement, progress and achievement?

The school makes very good use of achievement information to respond positively to learners’ needs, progress and achievement.

High numbers of students, including Māori students, are achieving at or above the National Standards in reading, writing and mathematics.

There are effective systems for leaders and teachers to gather, analyse and evaluate the progress and achievement of students. Teachers make good use of a range of assessments to help them identify next learning steps for students. This includes specific planning for students with special needs, students at risk of not achieving and more able students.

The board has high expectations for students' achievement levels in reading and writing and mathematics. Reports to the board are comprehensive and focused to show the progress students are making towards meeting the school’s annual goals. Trustees are looking for increased reporting about students’ progress in other curriculum areas.

Parents receive good information about their child’s progress and achievement in all curriculum areas.

Areas for review and development

Senior leaders and teachers have identified, and ERO agrees, the next steps for improving achievement of students include:

  • regularly reporting the progress that students with learning needs are making to the board
  • review the annual school targets to focus on the students who are not achieving at the National Standards so that their progress can be accelerated.

3 Curriculum

How effectively does this school’s curriculum promote and support student learning?

The school’s detailed and well-designed curriculum is very effective in promoting and supporting student learning. It is closely linked to the special Catholic character of the school and the wishes and aspirations of parents and the community. Curriculum guidelines are comprehensive and provide high quality direction for teachers.

Teachers make good use of their knowledge of students and effective teaching practices to extend students’ learning. These include:

  • grouping for students needs and strengths
  • sharing learning goals and showing students what success looks like
  • learning-focused programmes
  • attractive and well managed learning spaces.

Students are highly engaged and make good use of the learning time. There is a focus on students taking a leadership role in their learning. As a result, students are setting personal goals, evaluating their performance and reporting their progress to parents.

The welcoming and open-door policy in classrooms encourages parents to participate in children’s learning and discuss matters with teachers and the principal.

The school uses surveys well to seek the opinions of parents, students and teachers and to contribute to decisions about the health, safety and learning of students.

Area for review and development

School leaders identified, and ERO agrees, a next step for improvement is to enhance students' ability to confidently talk about their learning.

How effectively does the school promote educational success for Māori, as Māori?

The school is focused on promoting educational success for Māori. Individual student progress and achievement is tracked by teachers and included in reports to the board. Success as Māori is one of the key goals for the bicultural review that is currently underway. Consultation with parents of Māori students has identified their aspirations for their children.

The school provides an inclusive environment that encourages Māori students to identify as Māori.

The school provides all students opportunities to participate in kapa haka, learn some aspects of te reo Māori and participate in ceremonies that are distinctly Māori.

Area for review and development

School leaders and teachers need to continue to develop a bicultural curriculum that:

  • allows all students an opportunity to learn about their unique place in the world as New Zealanders
  • encourages Māori students to develop a strong identity and sense of belonging.

4 Sustainable Performance

How well placed is the school to sustain and improve its performance?

The board and school leaders are very well placed to sustain and improve the school’s performance.

Trustees view shared leadership as necessary for achieving sustainability and ongoing improvement.

The principal and deputy principal are well regarded by staff and trustees as the leaders of the school. They have clear expectations for teachers to be effective and reflective practitioners. This is supported by:

  • ongoing authentic teacher development
  • rigorous observations, critical feedback, and extensive learning discussions
  • regular monitoring and feedback about planning and assessment
  • opportunities to share judgements about student achievement with other schools.

Self-review processes and systems are well developed and thoroughly carried out by staff, and the board. Trustees are highly skilled and have a well-developed understanding of their governance role.

They have set clear directions for school development and make good use of self-review information to support them in their decision making. All areas of school operations are well documented and linked.

Provision for international students

The school is a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students established under section 238F of the Education Act 1989. One international student was enrolled at the time of this ERO review.

The principal has met the annual review requirements and this has been acknowledged formally by the Ministry of Education.

The school’s policies and procedures provide for suitable learning and pastoral provision including instruction in English for speakers of other languages.

Board assurance on legal requirements

Before the review, the board of trustees and principal of the school completed the ERO Board Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklists. In these documents they attested that they had taken all reasonable steps to meet their legislative obligations related to:

  • board administration
  • curriculum
  • management of health, safety and welfare
  • personnel management
  • financial management
  • asset management.

During the review, ERO checked the following items because they have a potentially high impact on student achievement:

  • emotional safety of students (including prevention of bullying and sexual harassment)
  • physical safety of students
  • teacher registration
  • processes for appointing staff
  • stand-downs, suspensions, expulsions and exclusions
  • attendance.

When is ERO likely to review the school again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in four-to-five years.

Graham Randell

National Manager Review Services Southern Region

5 September 2013

About the School



Ministry of Education profile number


School type

Full Primary (Years 1 to 8) Integrated

School roll


Number of international students


Gender composition

Boys 50%; Girls 50%

Ethnic composition

NZ European/Pākehā






Other ethnicities








Review team on site

June 2013

Date of this report

5 September 2013

Most recent ERO reports

Supplementary Review

Education Review

Education Review

March 2010

December 2008

February 2006